What do you want your community to look like in 20 years?
Do you want grocery stores and cafés within walking distance? More green spaces, and effective use of public transportation? A blooming business sector?
The City of St. Albert will continue to take resident input throughout the summer on these questions and more in an ongoing campaign of public consultations for its new Municipal Development Plan, dubbed Flourish: Growing to 100K.
“It’s kind of your crystal ball of what will happen in the next 20 years,” said St. Albert planning branch manager Kristina Peter. “It’s thinking about how you’ll want to live your life say in 20 years, what are some features and amenities you’d like your community to have.”
Consultations will involve engaging residents about key findings from Phase 1 and 2 of Flourish’s development, and what some of the goals and key policy directions have already been developed and glean some additional feedback.
Peter said a draft MDP would be complete by the end of this year, and the final version would be submitted for approval to the Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Board (EMRB) by early 2020, as provincially required.
In previous open houses, city administration revealed three possible growth scenarios to accommodate 34,000 more residents and 13,000 more jobs. The MDP is meant to guide St. Albert until its population reaches 100,000.
While the growth scenarios focused on the west, north and core, Peter said reality would likely involve a combination of all three.
St. Albert already struggles with expansion possibilities, due to lack of land, and Peter said densification will certainly have a part to play with the new St. Albert.
“When we grow to 100,000, we do have to accommodate those people within our existing boundaries,” she said. Some options include densifying around St. Albert Trail, nodes spread out across the city or a blanket increase in density city-wide.
Peter added the city has requirements from the EMRB regarding density, and St. Albert is required to achieve higher density than in the past.
While negotiations are ongoing over an annexation of land from Sturgeon County, that possibility is not being taken into consideration for current work on the MDP. Peter said because the annexation has not been granted by the province, the city cannot make an assumption it will go forward.
“We are making sure the policies in place within the MDP would translate over if we were successful with our annexation bit,” she said.
Pop-up booths will appear throughout the summer at various markets and festivals. City officials will be at Booth #286 at the St. Albert Farmers Market July 13 and 20.
Additionally, there will be a booth July 23 at St. Albert Centre and Servus Place, and Aug. 10 at Rock’n August.